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News

Report Available On Potential Smart Grid Security Exposures

Research And Markets : 16 February, 2011  (New Product)
Smart Grid Cyber Security Report released by Research and Markets to provide insight into the vulnerabilities and protection options for smart grid infrastructure facilities
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Smart Grid Cyber Security" report to their offering.



The vision of the smart grid is to break down barriers between transmission and distribution, communications and back office systems to create a fully integrated network that provides diagnosis and resolution of problems as they arise and enables real time exchange of information between the utility and its customers.



Although smart grid security regulations and standards will continue to evolve as smart grid technology develops, utilities cannot afford to wait until standards are finalized to begin developing their smart grid implementation strategy and plan.



This report on Cyber Security and the Smart Grid looks at the potential security threats faced by the smart grid in the near future, and how to mitigate them.



Threats to the smart grid can be classified into three broad groups - system level threats that attempt to take down the grid, attempts to steal electrical service, and attempts to compromise the confidentiality of data on the system.



Threats include but are not limited to



    * Scale

    * Legacy Devices

    * Field Locations

    * A culture of "security through obscurity"

    * Evolving Standards and Regulations

    * SCADA Security

    * Substation Security

    * Public Telecom Infrastructure

    * Network Management from Remote Nodes

    * Lack of Authentication

    * Slave Meter Data Tampering

    * Slave Meter Unauthorized Disconnection

    * Insecure Protocol Implementation

    * Firmware Upgrade Vulnerabilities

    * Input Validation

    * Employee tampering



Every communication path that supports monitoring and control of the Smart Grid is a two-way communication path. Each communication path is a potential attack path for a knowledgeable attacker. There are many potential entry points physically unprotected. Wireless networks can be easily monitored by attackers and may be susceptible to Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks. There are security mechanisms in place intended to prevent unauthorized use of these communication paths, but there are weaknesses in these mechanisms. The history of security in complex networks implies that more vulnerabilities exist and are yet to be discovered.



Because Smart Grid technologies are currently deployed in a relatively small percent of the North American power grid, the national security risk posed by vulnerabilities in these new technologies may not present a significant risk at this time. However, since these devices and networks are vulnerable to attack, the risk grows as the deployment becomes more widespread.



In this report you'll learn about the potential risks, and what smart grid technology and systems companies can do to prevent them.
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